Charisse Tierney enjoyed the small victory of a spontaneous tea party organized by her children -- a taste of the hope of heaven.
Once in awhile, it all comes together.
My kids and I decided to have a spontaneous tea party the other day. It was a rare afternoon. Everyone was cheerfully helping prepare the food and set the table. Patience and kind words abounded, a smile was on every face, and the atmosphere of our home was remarkably content.
Sometimes I wonder if my visions of the ideal family, the ideal homeschool day, or the ideal Sunday afternoon are just silly and unrealistic. So often my family and home seem to dissolve into chaos and I feel like giving up on every goal and aspiration and just settle for mediocrity.
And when I do feel I’ve achieved a small victory, it is so imperceptible to the rest of the world. No one is there cheering me on or giving me an award for those blissful few moments of listening to beautiful music with my children in the morning, or watching my daughter’s eyes light up when she spots a dragonfly flitting across a pond, or that invisible awareness of real education happening in my home.
But it is in those moments that I realize my ideals aren’t silly or small or insignificant. It is by holding on to my ideals that I’m holding on to the hope of heaven. By not giving up, I profess my belief that there is a perfect, everlasting, infinitely joyful eternity waiting for us and that God wants us to sometimes have a taste of that here on earth.
My visions for what I want my family to be keeps me going through over scheduled days, disciplinary foibles, and the reflection of my own faults in my children’s actions.
Once in awhile, it all comes together and God reminds me there is more. And in that juxtaposition of the misery of my fallen life and the glimpses of heaven that God likes to surprise me with throughout my days, I am reminded that He is with me -- and waiting for me -- always.
We were all created to be saints. That is a truth and not just an ideal. And if that is the ultimate, extravagant vision we are all striving for, then surely a few tea parties and days spent marveling at the beauty of God’s creation are not that silly to be chasing after all.
Copyright 2021 Charisse Tierney
Images: (top) Canva pro; all others copyright 2021 Charisse Tierney, all rights reserved.
About the Author
Charisse Tierney lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband Rob and seven children. Charisse is a stay-at-home mom, musician, NFP teacher, and a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd catechist. She is also a contributing author to The Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion and Family Foundations magazine. Charisse blogs at Paving the Path to Purity and can be found on Facebook.